Vista Set To Restrict Your Media

Filed under:Technology — posted by Q Ball on 8/30/2005 @ 4:20 pm

Cnet has reported that Windows Vista will have new far reaching restrictions on digital music and video. The article suggests that some monitors or tv’s that only have analog inputs will not display high quality videos or that Vista will downgrade the video when sending to the monitor. I believe this is outrageous that Microsoft is going this far to confine consumers. They should be making robust operating systems that are consumer friendly. I was so peeved by the article that I sent the EFF an email to inform them if they didn’t already know.

Once everything switches to digital there will be no stopping the large companies from implementing restrictions like these. We need to continue to produce some analog systems which cannot be controlled. I have considered starting a website dedicated to preserving and advocating the continuance of analog.

China Hacks Major US Networks

Filed under:Technology — posted by Q Ball on @ 11:18 am

I found this story on Time’s website. Some guy from Sandia Labs tracked Chinese hackers for months and logged their exploits under the direction of the FBI. Now the FBI is investigating him and not following up on the real threat.

Contrary to what most of you believe, the Chinese government is not our friend. They consider us a threat.

Media Mangles News from Iraq

Filed under:Bill of Rights,War on Terror — posted by 3wire on 8/29/2005 @ 6:04 pm

I’m still digging around in Michael Yon’s blog and finding gold. You have to read this stuff. This below is about the Zarqawi-letter. I included this in the “Bill of Rights” category because of a growing concern (mine) that the “Media” is manipulating the outcome of this event(the war on terror). More later on that later.

“Even CNN couldn’t grasp the importance of the letter. They ended up giving more coverage to the impending E-Bay auction of Jennifer Aniston’s old love letters than to the missive in which the top Al Queda leader in Mosul writes to the second most wanted man in the world, and describes in amazing detail the weaknesses and impending collapse of the terrorist network in Mosul and surrounds. Only then, did the military ask if I wanted to write about the letter.

Every one, even a “higher up” deserves the benefit of the doubt, and should be entitled to one mistake. But how many times, and how many major stories have to be mangled into meaninglessness before someone connects the cables and lets the information flow in a direction other than down the mainstream media drain?”

Firefight in Mosul

Filed under:War on Terror — posted by 3wire on 8/28/2005 @ 10:42 pm

The following text excerpts and photos are from Michael Yon : Online Magazine Thursday, August 25, 2005

“Shots were fired behind us but around a corner to the left.

Both the young 2nd lieutenant and the young specialist were inside a shop when a close-quarters firefight broke out, and they ran outside. Not knowing how many men they were fighting, they wanted backup. LTC Kurilla began running in the direction of the shooting. He passed by me and I chased, Kurilla leading the way.

null

There was a quick and heavy volume of fire. And then LTC Kurilla was shot.

Three bullets reach flesh: One snaps his thigh bone in half.
Both legs and an arm are shot.”

Read the rest at Michael Yon : Online Magazine

Michael Yon : Online Magazine

Filed under:War on Terror — posted by 3wire on 8/26/2005 @ 2:28 am

Michael Yon : Online Magazine

This guy is in Iraq and funding his disaptches himself and through donations.

From his About Me:

Michael Yon, author of “Danger Close,” is currently in Iraq. Email: MichaelYonIraq@hotmail.com Michael Yon is an independent, informed observer chronicling the monumentally important events in the efforts to stabilize Iraq. His dispatches have the benefit of his life experiences without drawbacks based on deadlines or demands of marketplace. The cost of these dispatches is borne solely by Michael. Readers who enjoy these dispatches and want to support Michael’s mission in Iraq, can make a contribution using the PayPal links which are activated when the “support the next dispatch” button is clicked. Donations can also be sent to Michael Yon P O Box 416 Westport Pt MA 02791

Thinking Dark

Filed under:War on Terror — posted by 3wire on 8/25/2005 @ 6:01 pm

For at least 20 years, since my days as a beat cop, people have accused me of thinking dark. I have been called a pessimist and often heard things like, “How can you live your life always expecting something bad to happen?” I don’t bother to argue and I often just smile and reply “Sometimes paranoia is just smart thinking” One day I pointed out what I saw as an obviously dangerous way of thinking, to a friend. He thought a moment and said “You know, I’m not paranoid but it’s nice to know someone who is.”

I learned a long time ago that the world is an incredibly dangerous place. I stay optimistic but I am prepared for the worst. For instance, if someone should attack my city with a dirty bomb, or biological or chemical weapon of mass destruction, I have in my car all the stuff I need to get safely home to my children, decontaminate myself and take care of my family so we can all survive together. Is that thinking dark? Yes. Is it smart? I think so.

Peggy Noonan wrote this today in the WSJ.

PEGGY NOONAN

Think Dark

Don’t close those military bases. We may need them someday soon.

The federal government is doing something right now that is exactly the opposite of what it should be doing. It is forgetting to think dark. It is forgetting to imagine the unimaginable.
Governments deal in data. People in government see a collection of data as something to be used, manipulated or ignored, but whatever they do with it, it’s real. It’s numbers on a page. You can point to them.

To think dark, on the other hand, takes imagination–and something more.

As adults living in the world, we know some things. As Murphy taught us, if it can go wrong, it will go wrong. As the journalist Harrison Salisbury said, in summing up what he’d learned in a lifetime observing history, “Expect the unexpected.” As JFK taught us, “There’s always some poor son of a bitch who doesn’t get the word”–someone in the field who doesn’t know what’s going on and does exactly the wrong thing. As Ronald Reagan once said in conversation, man has never invented a weapon he didn’t ultimately use. And as life has taught us since 9/11, we live in a dangerous age and the dangers aren’t over, if they will ever be.

When you think dark, you’re often and inescapably thinking with your gut, a vulgar way of referring to a certainty that lives somewhere between your spirit, soul and intellect. Your gut knows things your brain can’t assert as fact because they’re not facts, not yet. It can take guts to listen to your gut.

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Entrepreneurs in the War Zone

Filed under:Technology,War on Terror — posted by 3wire on 8/24/2005 @ 1:35 pm

Wired

It’s a typical morning at Camp Anaconda, the giant US military base 50 miles north of Baghdad – light breeze, temperatures heading to 100 degrees, scattered mortar fire. Ryan Lackey is getting ready for today’s assignment: installing a pair of satellite Internet connections at Camp Warhorse about 30 miles away.

Lackey, 26, is founder and CTO of Blue Iraq, a war zone startup that has operated out of Anaconda since December. It’s a bootstrap operation – three employees, tent accommodations, Army chow – that has been profitable from its first day. “The military’s a great market,” he says. “They have lots of money, and they know what they want.” His customers are mostly base commanders and DOD contractors, plus the occasional group of soldiers who chip in to get Internet access.

More

Appeals Court Preserves Email Privacy

Filed under:Bill of Rights,Technology — posted by 3wire on 8/23/2005 @ 9:32 pm

EFF News
Appeals Court Preserves Email Privacy

Massachusetts – In a long-awaited decision, the full First Circuit Court of Appeals today overturned a First Circuit panel decision that had allowed an email service provider to secretly monitor the content of users’ incoming messages without violating federal wiretap law. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and other privacy organizations submitted briefs in the case urging that the earlier decision be reheard by all seven First Circuit judges.

more

Bill gives abused spouses gun info.

Filed under:Bill of Rights — posted by 3wire on 8/22/2005 @ 4:33 pm

CNN.com – Bill gives abused spouses gun info – Aug 18, 2005

RALEIGH, North Carolina (AP) — North Carolina lawmakers have approved a measure that would require courts to give battered spouses information on how to apply for a concealed weapon.

The Moscow News

Filed under:General — posted by 3wire on 8/19/2005 @ 4:09 pm

MOSNEWS.COM
Check this out. Just stumbled across it. It’s an english Russian/Moscow News website. Looks like it might be a good resource.

Wired News: TSA Data Dump Leads to Lawsuit

Filed under:Bill of Rights,Technology — posted by 3wire on 8/18/2005 @ 10:31 pm

Following accusations last month that the Transportation Security Administration violated the Privacy Act in testing its new airline passenger-screening program, four individuals sued the agency Thursday.

They want the TSA to dig deeper for commercial data records it may have collected on each of them to test the Secure Flight program, and to hand over those records. The individuals also filed a motion to prevent the agency from destroying records before the lawsuit is resolved.

more

FBI’s “National Security Letters” Threaten Online Speech and Privacy

Filed under:Bill of Rights,Technology — posted by 3wire on 8/17/2005 @ 2:27 am

EFF Urges Appeals Court to Find Secret Subpoena Power Unconstitutional

New York – The Electronic Frontier Foundation, joined by several civil liberties organizations and online service providers, filed a friend-of-the-court brief yesterday in the case of Doe v. Gonzales arguing that National Security Letters (NSLs) are unconstitutional. NSLs are secret subpoenas for communications logs, issued directly by the FBI without any judicial oversight. These secret subpoenas allow the FBI to demand that online service providers produce records of where their customers go on the Web, as well as what they read and with whom they exchange email. The FBI can even issue NSLs for information about people who haven’t committed any crimes.

A federal district court has already found NSLs unconstitutional, and the government is now appealing the case. In its brief to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, EFF argues that these secret subpoenas imperil free speech by allowing the FBI to track people’s online activities. In addition, NSLs violate the First and Fourth Amendment rights of the service providers who receive the secret government demands. EFF and its cosigners argue that NSLs for Internet logs should be subject to the same strict judicial scrutiny applied to other subpoenas that may reveal information about the identities of anonymous speakers – or their private reading habits and personal associations.

Yet NSLs are practically immune to judicial review. They are accompanied by gag orders that allow no exception for talking to lawyers and provide no effective opportunity for the recipients to challenge them in court. This secret subpoena authority, which was expanded by the USA PATRIOT Act, could be applied to nearly any online service provider for practically any type of record, without a court ever knowing.

“The Constitution does not allow the FBI to secretly demand logs about Internet users’ Web browsing and email history based on vague claims of national security,” said EFF attorney and Equal Justice Works/Bruce J. Ennis Fellow Kevin Bankston. “The district court’s decision that National Security Letters are unconstitutional should have been a wake-up call to the House of Representatives, which just voted to renew the PATRIOT Act without adding new checks against abuse.”

Although such protections are lacking in the PATRIOT renewal bill that the House of Representatives recently passed, they are included in the Senate bill. It is not yet clear whether those protections will be included in the final bill when it reaches the President’s desk.

EFF was joined on the brief by the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Center for Democracy and Technology, the Online Policy Group, Salon Media Group, Inc., Six Apart, Ltd., the US Internet Industry Association, and ZipLip, Inc.

The FairTax Book

Filed under:Bill of Rights,General — posted by 3wire on 8/16/2005 @ 12:48 am

FairTax

“Wouldn’t you love to abolish the IRS …
Keep all the money in your paycheck …
Pay taxes on what you spend, not what you earn …
And eliminate all the fraud, hassle, and waste of our current system?”

Haven’t read it yet. Some say this plan would work, others say it would actually raise taxes. I’d almost be willing to pay MORE tax if it would eliminate the IRS and put tax attorney’s and accountants out of work. Is that wrong?

Army speeds high-tech tools to soldiers | CNET News.com

Filed under:Technology,War on Terror — posted by 3wire on 8/15/2005 @ 3:29 pm

Army speeds high-tech tools to soldiers | CNET News.com

The U.S. Army is playing up its ability to get high-tech tools to soldiers in the field more quickly and more affordably.

Rather than weapons, the Army’s Rapid Equipping Force is focusing on devices such as surveillance systems for searching out explosives, or handheld computers with voice recognition that carry a stockpile of phrases in Arabic. The goal isn’t to devise the gadgets from scratch; instead, the unit looks for commercial products or items already in the production pipeline.

(more)

GA NOT A ‘WEAPON OF MASS EFFECT

Filed under:Bill of Rights,War on Terror — posted by 3wire on 8/12/2005 @ 2:46 pm

General Aviation is NOT A ‘WEAPON OF MASS EFFECT,’ AOPA SAYS

AOPA made it clear to yet another government agency last week that general aviation airplanes are not so-called weapons of mass effect. AOPA was invited to address the Homeland Security Advisory Council Weapons of Mass Effect Prevention Task Force. The group is charged with designing defenses to prevent large-scale weapons (such as large bombs or nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons) from entering the United States. AOPA educated the task force about general aviation, using facts, figures, and graphics from the association’s GA Serving America Web site ( http://www.gaservingamerica.org ). “I explained again that most general aviation aircraft don’t have the size or carrying capacity to make an effective weapon,” said Andy Cebula, AOPA senior vice president of government and technical affairs. “And I reiterated all of the steps we’ve taken since 9/11 to improve the security of our aircraft and airports.”

Battlestar Galactica

Filed under:General — posted by 3wire on 8/11/2005 @ 5:05 am

Adama: What do you hear?
Starbuck: Nothing but the rain.
Adama: Then grab your gun and bring in the cat.
Starbuck: Boom boom boom!

I dont understand it. But I like it.

Much, much later.
Starbuck: After the attack I never, never pined over any of my old crap, never missed it… Everyone I know is fighting to get back what they had. I’m fighting because I don’t know how to do anything else.

Abu Ghraib – Letter of Apology, NOT!

Filed under:War on Terror — posted by 3wire on 8/10/2005 @ 11:36 pm

Clearly stating how a lot of us feel.

According to Snopes, this is not shown to be a hoax. They show the status as “Research in Progress” as of 14 June 2005

This “Letter of Apology” was written by Lieutenant General Chuck Pitman, US Marine Corps, Retired:

USMC

“For good and ill, the Iraqi prisoner abuse mess will remain an issue. On the one hand, right thinking Americans will abhor the stupidity of the actions while on the other hand, political glee will take control and fashion this minor event into some modern day massacre.

I humbly offer my opinion here:

I am sorry that the last seven times we Americans took up arms and sacrificed the blood of our youth, it was in the defense of Muslims (Bosnia, Kosovo, Gulf War 1, Kuwait, etc.).

I am sorry that no such call for an apology upon the extremists came after 9/11.

I am sorry that all of the murderers on 9/11 were Islamic Arabs.

I am sorry that most Arabs and Muslims have to live in squalor under savage dictatorships.

I am sorry that their leaders squander their wealth.

I am sorry that their governments breed hate for the US in their religious schools, mosques, and government-controlled media.

I am sorry that Yassar Arafat was kicked out of every Arab country and high-jacked the Palestinian “cause.”

I am sorry that no other Arab country will take in or offer more than a token amount of financial help to those same Palestinians.

I am sorry that the USA has to step in and be the biggest financial supporter of poverty stricken Arabs while the insanely wealthy Arabs blame the USA for all their problems.

I am sorry that our own left wing, our media, and our own brainwashed masses do not understand any of this (from the misleading vocal elements of our society like radical professors, CNN and the NY TIMES).

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Counterinsurgency Lessons Learned

Filed under:War on Terror — posted by 3wire on 8/9/2005 @ 2:02 am

PARAMETERS, US Army War College Quarterly – Summer 2004
Counterinsurgency Lessons from Vietnam

French Flag

Filed under:General — posted by 3wire on 8/8/2005 @ 5:42 pm

The post below reminds me. The other day I asked TomCat if she knew who designed the Eiffel Tower. Without hesitation she responed “Some guy that wanted to be sure the white flag could be seen from far away?” Where does she get that smart-ass attidude? Must be her mother.

Keep Blogging

Filed under:Bill of Rights — posted by 3wire on 8/5/2005 @ 11:51 am

Bloggers

Did it HAVE to be a French flag? …….Sigh. I know the French flag is Blue White and Red but its too close for comfort. Oh well, keep fighting for bloggers’ rights.


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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace